Amy Kitchener

Music/arts organization
Organization/Affiliation (no abbreviation): 
Alliance for California Traditional Arts
Fresno, CA 93721
United States
Short biography and a description of your interest(s) in music and health: 
Amy Kitchener co-founded the Alliance for California Traditional Arts (ACTA) in 1997. Understanding California’s unique position as the nation’s epicenter for diverse cultural and multi-national communities, ACTA’s work has focused on social change through grantmaking, capacity and leadership development, technical assistance, and bilingual program development. Since 2008, Amy has recognized the health outcomes of traditional arts practice and set about documenting those effects through research collaborations with UC Davis. She centered physical and mental health benefits as a principal program area for ACTA and a critical area for the contribution of traditional artists. Amy designed and oversaw the initial Building Healthy Communities work in four sites with The California Endowment, and co-directed the ten years of programming through this initiative. Amy also serves as program director for ACTA’s current Traditional Arts Roundtable Series in San Francisco which brings together traditional artists and health professionals to discuss the intersection of arts and health through public panels and performances.

Trained as a public folklorist with an M.A. from UCLA, Amy has piloted participatory cultural asset mapping in neglected and rural areas of the state and consults with other organizations and across sectors on this method of discovery and inclusion of community voices. She continues to serve as a consultant for many national organizations and has taken part in two U.S.-China Intangible Cultural Heritage exchanges. She has published on a variety subjects involving California folklife, including immigrant arts training and transmission, and Asian American folk arts. She served on the board of the national Grantmakers in the Arts from 2014 – 2020, and in 2017 was appointed by the US Congress as a Trustee of the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress. By 2019, she was elected as Chair of the American Folklife Center. Amy and husband Hugo Morales are the proud parents of twin boys who dance and sing with regularity.
traditional arts, folk arts, music, dance, folklore, health, equity